IMPHAL, May 18: In what could be the first time in the history of Umang Lai Haraoba of the meitei community, a large contingent of the Tangkhul community from Ukhrul district witnessed traditional Umang Lai Haraoba particularly of the Tangkhul Saba and Nurabi which are compulsory programme on the culmination of the traditional deity festival of the meitei community.
Altogether 65 people belonging to the Tangkhul community comprising of men, women and children witnessed Tangkhul Saba and Nurabi Saba of the Lai Haraoba yesterday at Wangoo Tampha Lairembi Haraoba at Wangoo.
Earlier, upon their arrival at Wangoo, hundreds of people lined up along the road leading to the Umang Lai premise at Wangoo to welcome the Tangkhul brothers and sisters who have come from Ukhrul to witness the traditional Lai Haraoba festival.
While welcoming the Tangkhul contingent, residents of Wangoo put up a large banner with the slogan `Let us make the world a better place for you and me`.
All the members of the visiting Tangkhul contingent were garlanded with the best of Meitei style of welcoming guest.
Later, a simple but meaningful welcoming function was held at Tampha Lairembi premise.
While speaking at the function state works minister K Ranjit who also attended the function recalled the brotherly relationship as existed since time immemorial amongst the valley dwellers and the hill dwellers. Ranjit went on to say that the aged old relationship as maintained amongst different communities of Manipur have now become fragile particularly since the past few decades due to some reason which could not be vividly explained.
Restoring aged old relationship amongst different communities inhabiting in Manipur is the main idea behind bringing Tangkhul community from Ukhrul district to witness the traditional Lai Haraoba of the Meitei culture, Ranjit said and asserted that the Meitei and the Tangkhul community originated from the same stock.
Both the community were brothers and hill dwellers at one point of time. However, the Meitei who was younger was ordered by his older Tangkhul brother to collect fire from the valley area, he stated.
The Meitei brother never came back to the hill and remained at the valley where life were easier to sustain, Ranjit said adding Mera Houchongba which is being celebrated every year symbolises the brotherly relationship between the hill and valley people.
Ranjit also said the place at Hundung village in Ukhrul district where the Tangkhul brother used to lit light to be seen by their Meitei brother in the valley is still preserved today and this showcases the aged old brotherly relationship amongst the hill and plain dwellers.
The function was also attended by Salam Joy, MLA Wangoi a/c, S Bira, ex-MLA of Kumbi, Ram Muivah, principal secretary (works) and various leaders of Tangkhul community.